Thursday, February 21, 2013

Little Moments....Big Memories

My days are so busy. busy.

That's a good thing...makes the time go by at an insane speed.

But it makes me even more grateful for every little moment.  They are my big, forever memories...

Like trying to get him to put these cowboy duds on so Grandma can see the fruits of her labor!  He is really not into dress-up.  At all.  Poor Grandma, God love her, keeps trying.  He was kind enough to oblige this day.  Delicious!
I only had to bribe him with one candy heart to get this outfit on!  Grandma's cowboy! (He sure has roped Mama's Heart!)

We've been able to see Daddy on Facetime fairly often.  I am so grateful for technology today.  I remember deployments where I was SO excited if I got a letter—and that it was the number I was waiting for!  In those good old days, letters were numbered so when they came in the mail out of order, you could organize them and make sense of them.  Yes.  I am VERY grateful for today's technology!

Daddy makes him LAUGH!

And laugh....
And on another day....laugh again!!!!
 Therapy is definitely helping!  He still has quite the sideways bite (and adorable smile that goes with that!) and some muscle weakness in his jaw, but each day that improves.  More, he's becoming less and less apprehensive about trying something new.  Still won't eat it, but to even TRY it is a big deal.  As he does this, his palate will expand.  Plus, Mama is getting good at figuring out how to relieve his anxiety over the food.  So his mother's child.

Hallelujah!  He is eating a bit better...though all the quesadilla on the plate overwhelmed him.  One bite at a time, with fruit bites in between...and he FINISHED LUNCH!

Good gracious...John always gives Luke baths.  I used to be SO glad it was 'his' job because it gave me a break.  Usually to take care of dinner dishes...but still, a break.  I know why John took that job, though!  It is a lot of fun.  Luke loves it, and I love it with him!
Our favorite time of day!  BATH!  Daddy wants me to get that hair cut again...I guess I should...

I have been so overwhelmed with all the thoughtful texts and emails and packages we've gotten.  Little reminders that people are thinking about and praying for us all.  Grateful.
Sweet, sweet friends sending us love and prayers and never forgetting any of my sweet boys!

WOOOHOO!!! Eastern North Carolina got snow!  It actually was not too shabby in the accumulation department.  He went crazy!  He was so excited and wanted to go out immediately.  I loved watching his joy and his excitement.  Pure bliss!
SNOW! Yum!
 I love this picture!  It's so goofy.  (Much like him!) But mostly, I love those little teeth.  Yes, the dentist told us to start saving for braces because he has a bit of an overbite, but oh...those sweet little teeth.  Daddy affectionately calls them his Chiclets and they make me SMILE!
Silly boy...tired of pictures!
We made cookies for Daddy.  Didn't even have to bribe him with candy to put on his cooking set!  No, no...he just wanted to play with the paring knife.  Oy.
Seriously.  What joy in my heart physically looks like.

Putting the butter in cookies for Daddy!
I love his little hand behind my back.  He's starting to pat my back when I hold or hug him.  MELT.MY.HEART!

Rare picture of us both...
 I had to beg, borrow and steal my way into getting him to try icing.  Once he did, though....WOW.  He loved it!!!!
Icing...ok...not bad!

Truly, one of my greatest blessings is bringing him into bed with me and snuggling and cuddling and laughing and reading books and watching Me Mouse or Chuggington for a little treat.  We miss Daddy, alright...but his side of the bed is definitely getting its fair share of filling with this sweet thing.
Mama makes me laugh and laugh!
 This boy is too much.  He stayed up for nearly 2 hours reading.  READING.  Babbling, haha.  He is just like me.  I'd hover around my nightlight until ALL hours of the night reading.  I was (and still am) such a bookworm.  He's working his way there too!
Carbon Copy of his Mama.
 In he is reading his new dinosaur book.  He said, "Dinosaur, dinosaur, dinosaur, dinosaur, dinosaur," with inflection as if those were really the words!  The teacher in me is THRILLED with those pre-reading skills, but the Mama in me thinks it was the cutest.thing.ever.  Also, when I put this new shirt on him, I said, "Look...a baby dinosaur and a Daddy dinosaur!"  He said, very concerned, "Mommy????"

That boy LOVES ME!
But he sure is cool like Daddy!
 Goofy, goofy boy.  Made this at school.  I love all the things he does there!
Hello, Mr. President?
 The time flies.  For real.  Savoring every.single.second!

Monday, February 11, 2013

What I Don't Want To Forget...

How he calls his T-Rex "Baby."
"Baby" tucked nicely in a blankie in my bed...
The contents of my bed any given day...sharkie, Thomas, Luke, Baby, blankie, CatFancy (he loves cats and calls that magazine his Catbook) and a veggie straw...nibbled, not eaten!
How he gives a sweet, shy little smile and starts bopping his head around when TobyMac or Newsboys or Building 429 comes on the radio.

How he says, "Wheeeee!" with a precious little smile when I bust him playing in the water in the if to let me know how much fun he's having so I'll let him continue.

How he carries that stool around like it's a 2-ton boulder...the drama!  Yet, he lugs it everywhere.

Looking for the next light switch to turn on.  And off.  And on.  And off.  And on.  And off.
How he purposely goes to his crib to pull his boppy out, knowing full well I'm going to say, "Oh, you stinker...boppies are for night-nights!" and he giggles and runs away waiting for me to chase him.

How he goes, "Wheeeee!" as we barely go up or down small hills/curves in the road.

How he loves to read his Jesus book (The Story) because the story of the Good Samaritan has a donkey illustration and he loves to say, "Hee haw!  Hee haw!"

How he says, "Of course!" at the most random times.

How he cuddles with me when watching "Me" Mouse.

How he wants me to trace his hand or make his footprint every.single.time we are coloring or playing with paint.
Mad because I took his picture for daddy away!
How he loves splashing in puddles.

How he says, "Nein, nein, Dixie!" because Dixie licks him incessantly.

How he is so silly...such a ham...wants to make us laugh being silly.

How he knows EXACTLY which Thomas train he wants...and he's very purposeful in finding it.  "I find it."

How he goes, "Hmmmmmmmm???????" when I tell him to pick out books to if he's making the most important decision ever!

How even when he's sick and at the doctor, he says, "Uh-huh!" so sweetly when I ask him if he's ok.  Such a trooper.
All smiles at the doctors! Sounds a mess; smiles like the sunshine!

How I find money in his diaper all the time because he will put any coin he finds down his shirt (his 'ocket') and it lands in his diaper.  It's like going to the bank every diaper change!

How much he loves trains.  And dinosaurs.  And construction vehicles.  Equally and ferociously!

How cute I thought it was when he drew on the wall for the first time.  With blue chalk.  And then sweetly cleaned it up for mommy.

It won't be as cute if it is a habit that continues...but I loved this...his exploration and independence.  I love it!
How he loves coming in my room and hanging in my bed, eating chips.  Yes, bad habit.  I know.  I don't care.
Living the life...

How when I told him we didn't have any 'donees' left, he said, "Tor.  Donee Tor." (Donee store.)  That boy is too much.

There is so much I do not want to forget.  Little things that I think, "I MUST WRITE THAT DOWN!" and though I am daily keeping track of the little things I fear I'll forget, there are too many.  Too many perfect, normal little moments that make my heart soar.

I am just beyond grateful for him.  

Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Year Ago..

I remember feeling sick to my stomach and not wanting to take the test because I was so scared it would be negative.

Karie standing beside me and saying, "I see something.  It's turning."

Luke watching Praise Baby and "Shout To The Lord" came on.  Exactly what I felt like doing.


Disbelief that these sweet little embryos...

Let me know what this looked like for the third time in my life....

I remember.  Even if no one else remembers this day as being just as significant as March 19 or May 14 to me, I remember.  Those are the days I was given a gift that is beyond all treasure.

Some Mommies do amazing things in memory.  Have releases.  Throw parties.  Start foundations.  Write books.

Some Mommies block the memory.  Say that their miscarriage wasn't  'as bad' as 'losing a baby'.  Prefer to see the loss of their baby early in pregnancy as a painful part of a road that eventually brought them the living little one(s) they now hold and may not have, had their miscarried baby survived.  Guard their hearts.

I get it.

The pain is real.  It is hard.  It hurts.  We do whatever we have to do to make it through, and I certainly get it.  No judgement.  Just sorrow that anyone ever has to figure out how to navigate these days.

Days that no matter what, we remember.

No matter what we choose to do or how we choose to remember, we remember.

Mommies always remember.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Some Real Things About Me...

I am WAY behind on a couple of things I've committed to.

In 20 years, I've fallen into John's mantra, "If you wait until the last minute, it only takes a minute to do."

Given, that's working good enough for me these days.  But, the Type A/Recovering OCDer in me still cringes.  A lot.  This is not how I pictured my life.  As a woman or a wife or a mother.

Kelly's Walking With You is perfect for me.  I'm two weeks behind in it, but you know what?  I'll get to them.  I'm just going to go back and do the ones I've missed.  I think this week's is important:

"Mothers often fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to one another. This is a trap many women fall into. We compare our families, mothering styles, fashion sense, careers or lack thereof, bodies, etc. Even mothers with babies in heaven compare the way we grieve our children. I know…sad…but we do it, if we’re honest enough to admit it. So, how can we find freedom from this? Sharing is a start…telling the truth…admitting the struggle. I think, then, we will see that we all love our children, regardless of how we choose to remember and honor their lives…whether publicly or quietly…with big parties or simple moments of remembrance. Be real on this week’s post, and let’s free ourselves from the trap of comparing!"

Yes.  Oh my word, yes.

I say I don't compare, but I do.  I almost always find myself feeling very...


This morning, I needed to put some makeup on because I've been sick and I had appointments for Luke to go to and really, I just wanted to look somewhat presentable.

I don't even know where my makeup is.

Don't get me wrong—my arsenal is pretty small anyway.

But crap!  I am sort of in this pit these days where I

Yesterday, if any of my neighbors saw me when I checked the paper, they'd have seen a leopard print pajama top and an orange and green flowered bottom.

Because I have not done laundry for myself in 3 weeks.

Nothing fits me anyway.

I hate the way I am looking in clothes.  I've lost a lot of weight.  I know, it's my fault. I don't eat well.

Yada yada yada.

My face looks sunken in again.  Sickly.  I know it. I hate it.

I'm just not motivated enough to do anything about it.

People are very kind to me online.  They tell me that I look great or I have such a pretty smile, and honestly, I can't say how much I love hearing that and hate hearing it at the same time.

Trust me when I say there is no false modesty here.  I know I don't necessarily look my age.  I know that there are some pictures I take and even I say, "Wow...I don't clean up too poorly."

But really...for a long, long time, I've been feeling pretty defeated.

Mostly because I am stuck in this ugly, ugly, ugly comparison trap.

I am SO not a great military spouse.
I am SO not a fashion plate.
I am SO not the friend I WANT to be.
I am THE.WORST.MOTHER to those poor little babies I've lost.

I am SO not SO many things that I see in other women all.the.time.

I don't feel motivated to do anything to remember Matthew.  Like publicly, I mean.  I do every year for his birthday, the Pie Challenge, but I'd do that anyway.  I'm talking like parties or foundations or books or even much writing anymore unless it's something I've committed to.

I remember him.every.single.second of  That takes more toll on my heart sometimes than I can even muster.  Doing more?  I just don't have the energy.

Talk about guilt—comparing myself to others who are such advocates of so many different things.

Want to know something else?  I don't even want to.
Honestly.  There are more days than not that I feel like I just should close this blog and close facebook and stop writing anywhere because I don't like how it's evolved.

That people look to me for anything or rely on me for anything.

Truth is, it's hard enough just to muster the energy to be the mother I want to be for Luke. Or the wife I should be for John.

I don't know if it's just who I have become since Matthew died or if it's just this season right now that I am reliving a year ago and the new little life I had inside of me...but honestly, I just feel selfish.

I just want my world to revolve around Luke.  John, to the degree that it can right now with him gone.  Anyone or anything else is just too much.

I think part of my inclination to just hermit up is the whole comparison trap.

I always fall short.  Always.

Not busy enough. Not tall enough.  Not fashionable enough.  Not witty enough.  Not motivated enough.  Not grateful enough.  Not healthy enough. Not managing my time well enough.  Not doing enough to give back.  Not  doing enough for John.  Not doing enough for Luke.  Not doing enough for Matthew.  Not doing anything for poor little forgotten Trey.

Just not enough.

And yet—I know many people think so differently of me.  I'm not sure why; I live as honestly as I can. Yes, I post a lot of rosy posy posts on Facebook, but they are honest.  They are true.

I'm also not about to post that I've showered 3 times in the last 7 days, have probably eaten 3 meals in the last 7 days, have let my kid watch more tv in the last 7 days than he probably has in the last year, and that I *just* sent off a package to John and it was a cruddy one at that.

I already feel crappy enough! Why post that jazz?

Here's why:

To let anyone who reads and has any expectations of me know that I am a real person.

I've not done anything to my toes since November...and that was just tipping off nail polish that was still there from MAY.

My dresser drawers are so ridiculously out of order because I basically wear the same 5 things every week, there's no point in really even having them.

I wear the same pair of shoes all the time.  Day in, day out.  Sandals, no less.  I know I look weird.  They are comfortable.

I do not get anywhere near the sleep I should because I am watching some dumb trash tv show late at night. And by dumb trash tv show, I mean House Hunters.  Honey Boo Boo and Sister Wives and Amish Mafia are on earlier in the evening.

I have not cooked my poor husband a meal in probably 7 months.  Or more.  Who knows?

I know a thing or two about dysfunctional families.

My sister was told last week that she needs a heart transplant and I've yet to get in the car and drive the two hours out there.  In defense, we've been sick and I can't get her sick, but part of the reason I am sick is my own fault—I don't take good enough care of myself and if I did, I'd have been able to be out there helping her more.

I don't like it when people tell me that, either—that I don't take good care of myself. I know.  I'm very cognizant of it. Telling me obviously doesn't change it.

I don't put Luke in flannel or fleece because no matter how often I vacuum (daily, really), there is dog hair all over him all.the.time.  I am grossed out by it.  Yet, he eats off the floor all the time and I think nothing of it.

My bathroom counter is a mess.

There are a lot of people I.just.don'  I know I need to love them like Jesus does, but I don't.  I don't ever let them know that, but I hate that *I* know it in my heart.

There...there's a lot of sharing there, huh?

Not sure how free of the comparison trap I feel in sharing all of this, because the reality is that I just won't ever be SO MANY THINGS, and I'll probably always compare myself to what I am not.

What I am,'s good enough. Just fine for me.

I'm a woman who loves her husband and though he drives her nuts sometimes, wouldn't know what to do with myself without him.

I'm a woman whose sun and moon revolve around the most amazing little gift in the form of a 2 year old named Samuel Luke.

I'm a woman who struggles with a God who goes before me and stands beside me, yet let my babies die.

I'm a woman who knows that I'll never understand how that can be, and so I just don't ask.  I look at Luke and know that the God who let my babies die is the same God who gave me such a treasure.  I don't understand, but I am grateful and willing to trust and believe.

I'm just me.